Tuesday, September 1, 2020
The model curriculum now on the education department’s website says the course should “build new possibilities for post-imperial life that promotes collective narratives of transformative resistance.” Yes, this is a course for K-12 students. It suggests teachers provide “examples of systems of power, which can include economic systems like capitalism and social systems like patriarchy.” Students can then be taught “the four ‘I’s of oppression”—ideological, institutional, interpersonal and internalized.
The state guidance includes more than 200 pages of approved course outlines. Some of these seem to mandate student political activities, potentially raising First Amendment concerns. “Students acquire tools to become positive actors in their communities to address a contemporary issue and present findings in a public forum,” says one outline. Among the approved topics: “Racism, LGBTQ rights, immigration rights, access to quality health care, income inequality,” and so on. What about the fifth “I” of indoctrination?
It’s not a coincidence that many radical left movements are infused with anti-Semitism. They posit theories of control by shadowy capitalist groups that often echo anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. One course outline tips its hat at this. “Students will write a paper detailing certain events in American history,” it says, “that have led to Jewish and Irish Americans gaining racial privilege.”
Oh my goodness! My Irish ancestors would have been surprised to learn that they were privileged. In particular, my maternal grandmother who is said to have walked into Boise from Mountain Home, which is a longish drive, let alone long walk. There she threw herself upon the mercy of the Holy Cross sisters at the local Catholic hospital, which was separate as the Catholics and Protestants didn't mix. Her father was a Sargent in the U.S Calvary, however, so I suppose he felt more privileged than some of the Native Americans with whom he liaised. Other ancestors died in the gold mines of Colorado, where they sought the privilege of striking it rich, but only caught pneumonia and died for their troubles. But no doubt our cherished intellectuals have an answer to all this which makes eminent sense.